NCAA softball: Washington shuts out Iona to open regional play
Hosting the Seattle regional on their home field at Husky Softball Stadium, the No. 12 Washington Huskies began their tournament run on Thursday before action kicks into high gear for the rest of the Pac-12 participants on Friday.
Behind a grand slam from freshman infielder Ali Aguilar, the Washington Huskies jumped on Iona early and used that momentum in their NCAA tournament opener to run-rule the Gaels 8-0 in six innings on Thursday night. The victory pushes Washington into the second game of the double-elimination regional in Seattle, where coach Heather Tarr's team faces BYU at 1 p.m. PST on Friday in the winner's bracket.
Washington's bats put the hurt on Iona pitcher Carly Argyle in the first inning, loading the bases with no outs before a walk issued to UW's fourth batter pushed a run across the plate. Aguilar, the fifth batter up, sent her first career grand slam over the fence to give the Huskies a 5-0 lead before the Gaels recorded their first out.
#SEEYA! Ali Aguilar goes deep for her first career grand slam! The Huskies now lead, 5-0 in the 1st!
— UW Husky Softball (@UWSoftball) May 16, 2014
Iona would close the first inning without allowing another score and both teams held steady in the second before Washington was back at it in the third frame.
After two walks to Husky batters – Iona walked eight UW batters on the night – a grounder by Aguilar to right field led to an error, allowing another UW run to score. With runners on first and third, Washington added another run with a sacrifice fly by Whitney Jones to take a 7-0 lead.
The game went into the sixth inning, where a Washington hit and two walks loaded the bases with two outs before the Huskies won the game when Dani Braun was hit by a pitch, forcing in the deciding run.
Senior pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby allowed just one hit to Iona in the shutout as the top of the Huskies' lineup dominated.